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Chinese State Forest Administration announces forest sector reform in 2006
During the 11th five year plan period (2006-2010) China will carry out two reforms in forestry sector: to perfect reform of forest zoning system and to fully start reform of forest tenure, Jia Zhibang, the Administrator of SFA, told a press conference held by the State Council Information Office yesterday in Beijing. Forests are classified into two major categories: ecological forests and commercial/timber forests, according to their functions. For ecological forest, government will be the main investor. Tenure reform will be carried out for commercial forests with three elements, i.e. tenure reform in collective forests, reform in state-owned forest farms and state owned forest regions.
The focuses and goals of the three reforms are as following:
Tenure reform in collective forest regions
This reform will adopt the measures of the Rural Household Contract Responsibility System as references, focusing on establishing ownership of the previously collective owned forests and allocating property rights to every household and each person. It will also take steps to invigorate forest management, reduce high fees and taxes as well as standardize transfer of property rights, to ensure that farmers who manage forests have their lands, rights and obligations, and legal sources for fair revenue. To date the experimental reforms of collective forest tenure have been implemented in some southern provinces such as Fujian and Jiangxi. The full scaled nation-wide reforms will be started this year.
Reform of State-owned forest Farms
The second is to promote reforms of state-owned forest farms. In order to carry out “the Opinions on Accelerating the Implementation of Reform in State-Owned Forest farms” promulgated by State Council, state owned forest farms will be classified into two categories: commercial and public benefit forest farms based on established criteria. It is needed to fulfill the policy requirements of “public benefit” forest farms in verifying the personnel arrangement and incorporating the outlay into the financial budget. It is also needed to well arrange the redundant personnel of “public benefit” forest farms and guarantee the pensions for employees.
Reform of State owned forest regions
The third reform is to actively explore the systematic reform of key state owned forest regions in the Northeast and Inner Mongolia. According to the principle of separating enterprises from administration, reforms of key state owned forest areas and forest resource management system will be actively promoted, and state owned forest resource management institutions will be established to fulfill the responsibilities of investors on behalf of the state, and will manage the pilot projects of tenure reform in Yichun and reforms of forest resource management scheme in 6 forest bureaus of key public forest regions. A complete plan on reform of key state owned forest regions and forest resource management system needs to be made with reference from reforms in those pilot regions.
Translated from China Green Times by Sun Xiufang.
Posted By Megan Liddle at 8:31am on March 23, 2006
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